With recent questions about what appears to be a delay in getting services or just getting the screening scheduled through CDS here are current informational pieces that should help us as providers support the children in care and their families that are looking at the need for early intervention.
Within three business days of receiving the referral, a representative from the CDS regional site serving the town in which the child resides will contact the parent/guardian to gather more information and discuss the concerns, provide information about CDS and determine the family’s interest in scheduling any screenings or evaluations to determine if the child is eligible for services.
A referral is a request that a child be screened and evaluated to see if services might be appropriate. Referrals usually are based on a physical or developmental concern about the child, and are usually made by parents, doctors, and personnel from Head Start, preschool, public health, or other human service agencies. Parental consent is not required for a referral, but is required for screening, evaluations, and services. Any child, from birth to school-age 5 may be referred to the Child Development Services (CDS) for possible early intervention or special education services. School-age 5 includes children who are 5 or turning 5 by Oct. 15 of their kindergarten year. After receiving a referral, CDS has 45 days to determine the eligibility and implement an IFSP for a young child (birth to age 3, Part C). Upon receipt of the parents’ written consent to evaluate a child age 3-5 (Part B), CDS has 60 days to evaluate and determine the child’s eligibility for special education and related services. After eligibility is determined, the CDS has another 30 days to develop and implement an IEP.
The screening may conclude that there are no immediate reasons for concern; the results are inconclusive and the child should be re-screened; or there are areas of concern, warranting a more in-depth evaluation. Regardless of screening results, a parent may request an evaluation to determine if their child is eligible for early intervention or special education services. In fact, parents may request an evaluation from CDS at any time after a referral, whether or not their child has been screened.
Part B For children age 3 through 5 (Part B), evaluations must include formal assessment, parent input, and, if possible, observation of the child in an educational setting with typically developing peers. The evaluation must take into account cultural differences of the child, in other words be culturally sensitive.16 12/22/09 From the date the CDS site receives the parents’ written consent to evaluate, the CDS has 45 school days to evaluate and determine eligibility. CDS or the school district has another 30 school days after eligibility is established to develop and implement an Individualized Education Program (IEP).